Learnings from the first year of MBA
It has been one year into MBA and the journey has been amazing. It feels as if we have always belonged here. MBA is in our talks, on our social network and in our thoughts. As I look back, I find a lot of learnings which I have tried to list below.
The Suit: Yes, the first thing I learned was to be comfortable in the suit. Summers or winters, few hours or long hours- the suit is as much a part of the MBA culture as any. You will wear it so much that you are bound to master the art.
Opportunity Cost: You’ll soon realise that there is an overused concept in MBA called opportunity cost that you can apply to almost anything. When you fail to come up with anything you say this and it works.
Social Loafing: When a lot of assignments happen in groups, it is important to learn that you are NOT supposed to do all the work alone. If you do all the work once, more work will follow in the future. One must be smart while working in groups and skip a few assignments because it will always get done whether you do it or not.
Every HBR case has a solution online: Very important learning if you have a 10 page case to present in a day’s time and you have no clue of the subject. Googling is a talent one must definitely possess to succeed in MBA (a 3G connection might be another). Most of the cases taught in the class will not be original. There would be a solution given by someone, somewhere for you to discover (i.e. for free).
There’s always a better way to make ppts: While one may think making PowerPoint presentation is no major skill, you’ll learn as you progress that there is always someone making better presentations. It is one key skill that you need to acquire to be called an MBA graduate. There is a lot you can do with simple slides and you’re expected to do all of it.
Food finishes before drinks: I learnt it the hard way, missing out on food for the first two parties on campus. Not a good idea if you survive on mess food. This is a mistake most people commit during those first few events. We now make sure we eat some before continuing the gulping of the magic nectar.
All’s not about studies: It is sad that we learnt this only after the first 3 months passed but something we are thorough with now. It is more about personality than those numbers on your score sheet. Even companies look for people with such differentiating factors which separate you from the crowd. Build character for career not just certificates.
A lot depends on luck: Mentioned it earlier as well, you can only do what is in your hands but there is a lot more than that and your talent may not always be the only thing that matters. It’s good to learn it as early as possible because a lot of people see unfair treatment at lot many events. Life is not fair, accept it!!
It’s harder to fail than pass: True for most top colleges. As these are deemed universities and everything is internally governed, you’ll find it really hard to fail. It is one big relief that you get in these institutes in those early days of pandemonium. Some people still manage to work hard towards their aim and do succeed in failing for everybody else doing the average things right, they pass.
PS: There might be a lot of things that I have missed, please excuse me for all that. And yes you’ll learn a lot in classrooms as well. (At least one should hope to…)
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Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays on internet radio in his college.
You can Follow me on InsideIIM at Ishan@insideiim.com